Kava Business Faces Backlash After Transphobic Social Media Posts

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Like Donald Trump, maybe the owners of this business think all publicity is good publicity? 

It’s unclear yet if publicity was the motivation for a slew of posts this week on social media by Kavasutra Kava Bar, which has multiple locations including Lake Worth, Delray and Fort Lauderdale .

The posts have largely been deemed sexist and transphobic and have created an avalanche of ongoing negative publicity. 

The business offers a variety of kava (tea) drinks. They made an initial post advertising a Monday night event that was described as a “genetic female slam.”

“Tonight at 1:00 there will be a genetic female slam. If you are a chick per your DNA, well m’lady, it’s slam time,” the post, since deleted, read. A “slam” appears to be a type of kava drink served like a shot.

A later Kavasutra post elaborated: “#slams tonight for chicks only. Chicks means born with a vagina. You must have ovaries,” read part of the post. 

Summer Balester, of Davie, was outraged by the posts and decided to spread the word. Balester took screen shots of the postings and placed them on her Facebook page Monday. (Kavasutra had deleted some of its original postings and replies.) By Tuesday afternoon, Balester’s post had been shared across Facebook more than 2,000 times and commented on at least as much.

Comments included:

“Ovaries make a woman? Gosh, I wish someone had told me that before I had a life saving hysterectomy! I mean, my endometriosis and ovarian cysts would have just kept getting worse. But at least I'd still be a woman!”

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After one commenter asked (as a reply to Kavasutra’s post) why a business would be concerned with someone’s genitals in the first place, calling it “100% unprofessional and gross,” Kavasutra had yet another response.

“The point of ladies night is to get ladies in the door so the men can bang them. If there’s no vagina then they don’t qualify because they don’t benefit the business and the plan,” the post said.

Not surprisingly, more outrage followed on social media and across the internet after that post. South Florida media outlets, including the Sun Sentinel, picked up the story. Detractors began to write negative business reviews on Yelp and Facebook and there is now a thread on Reddit.

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One negative review on Facebook was posted by Eric Carbone of Fort Lauderdale.

“Garbage business run by garbage people. Transphobes aren't welcome in South Florida. Get out of our community,” the post read.

Attempts to contact Kavasutra ownership or management at its Las Olas, Lakewood and Delray locations Tuesday were unsuccessful. 

The controversy is also ironic since their Lake Worth location participated in the Lake Worth PrideFest parade this year even going so far as to promote the event on Instagram and Facebook.

The chain also has locations in New York City and Denver.

The business also made news recently after it posted “God Hates Beer” signs near the Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach. The Miami New Times picked up that story.


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